2015 Tel Aviv bus stabbing attack
|2015 Tel Aviv attacks|
|Location||Tel Aviv, Israel|
|Date||21 January 2015 |
c. 7:30 a.m.
|Injured||13 (including the perpetrator)|
|Perpetrator||Hamza Muhammad Hassan Matrouk|
During the morning rush hour of January 21, 2015, a Palestinian man from Tulkarm, West Bank boarded a bus in Tel Aviv and stabbed multiple persons a terrorist attack. After the bus he boarded had driven about 400 metres, the Palestinian attacked the driver, who fought back, before turning to other passengers and attacking them. The bus stopped, with the passengers fleeing, and the Palestinian attacked others too. Israeli police shot the terrorist in the foot and arrested him.
Twelve people were injured in the attack.
At 7:30 am the assailant boarded a bus in Tel Aviv about 7:30 a.m. and rode two stops before attacking the driver with a knife. The driver, Herzl Biton, fought back, using pepper spray. The assailant attacked a number of passengers with the knife before they were able to open the doors of the bus and flee. The assailant pursued the fleeing passengers, stabbing one a second time, before he attempted to flee the scene.
As the assailant attempted to run away, bystanders who happened to be employees of the Israeli prison system gave chase, firing into the air. When the fleeing assailant did not stop, they shot him in the legs and captured him.
Residents of Tulkarem who knew the suspect stated that he was not affiliated with any political party.
Trial and sentencing
Noting that the suspect was unrepentant and showed no empathy for his victims, Judge Yaron Levi, of the Tel Aviv District court sentenced Matrouk to 28 years in prison.
The New York Times characterized this attack as representing a new category of threat to Israelis, "attacks carried out with seeming spontaneity by individuals acting without the instruction or backing of an organization."
Hamas leaders praised the attack, calling it a, "natural reaction" on the part of an occupied people. Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook said, "there is no bigger terrorism than occupying people, stealing their lands, freedom and dignity."
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced the attack as a direct result of incitement by the Palestinian Authority of president Mahmoud Abbas, "The attack in Tel Aviv is a direct result of poisonous incitement from the Palestinian Authority towards Jews and their state. This is the same terror which tried to harm us in Paris, Brussels and everywhere."
The hashtag #JeSuisCouteau ('I am a knife') and an Arabic translated by the newspaper Haaretz as "#TheKnivesRevolution" instantly spread across the internet in support of the kniving attack on Israeli bus passengers. In addition, many people posted images of knives dripping with blood on social media and called for more attacks on Israelis.
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